New Year’s Eve Cheeseboard

A cheeseboard is the perfect thing to help kick-off a party. As a diversified work of art, it’s not only a collection of tasty nibbles for wine pairings, but also serves as a wonderful icebreaker! My dream cheeseboard components: Cheese At least 3 please, but honestly, the more the merrier! A variety of hard, semi-hard,…

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Joy

May the joy you feel as you relish the goodies, decorate every nook and corner of your home, and enjoy the get-togethers with friends and family continue throughout the new year! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! Love, Nora    

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Busy Sidewalks

Christmas in Connecticut would not be Christmas without a trip into New York City. Having lived in Fairfield County for most of my life, I’ve been grateful for it’s proximity, about a 75 minute drive, to the Big Apple. My perfect day in midtown consists of lots of walking, window-shopping, a show and a fabulous…

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Go Local

My dear friend Dana and I, love serving wines from local vineyards. For Dana it’s wines from New Hampshire and Maine, and for me, it’s Connecticut and New York. Local wines from small wineries add a personal note to any get-together, and they make wonderful gifts too. Our favorites this holiday: Dana’s choice: Bartlett Wild…

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#AllSprucedUp Design Challenge

When my new Instagram friend Jessica, reached out to me to participate in this fun holiday design challenge on Instagram, I wasn’t sure what to expect. So when the theme for our first week turned out to be Hot Cocoa Bars, I knew this was going to be fun! If you are on Instagram, be…

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Snip And Tuck

It’s amazing what you can do with just a few leftover sprigs of greenery that’ve been tied up with pretty ribbon. A little bit of green can bring a lot of holiday cheer when tucked into unexpected places. Even my vintage straw bag gets into the holiday spirit when dressed with a stray sprig of…

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Balsam Chandeliers

Every year, I deck out my chandeliers for Christmas with big boughs of freshly cut balsam. Armed with my trusty Felco pruning shears, I head out to the back woods and snip just a couple of branches. Once I’ve finished draping the greenery, and have tucked in a few battery powered ‘Stargazer’ lights from Terrain,…

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We Choose Love

As Christmas approaches, we here in Newtown, Connecticut, must sadly pause today to acknowledge the heartbreaking events that took place 3 years ago in our backyard: the tragedy that has become known worldwide as “Sandy Hook.” Grieving is a process, not an event. Everyone heals at their own pace, in their own way. And with resilient…

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Nantucket Inspired Gallery

When I’m developing a theme, I always keep an eye out for inspiration in unexpected places and things. It not only keeps me focused, but also provides a cohesive end result that is both familiar and beautiful. Here are some of my favorites from the new NMCH Holiday Issue, which can be found in its…

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A Gift From The Sea

A simple idea, that’s so easy to do! In keeping with the ocean/Nantucket theme, think of sea salt. I have a pair of very large rosemary plants that are always in need of a trim, and when simply combined with flaky sea salt, voila! A rosemary flavored sea salt that’s a wonderful seasoning to keep…

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Our Holiday Gift To You!

In keeping with the Nantucket themed Christmas at Connecticut Country House this year, we created beautiful nautical gift tags. Inspired by 19th c. engravings rendered in a wonderfully inky indigo, this assortment of tags are proportioned to work on the largest to the tiniest of gifts. These downloadable gift tags, designed exclusively by and for…

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Holiday Mantelpieces

Fireplace mantels are one of the best spots to decorate for the holidays. The hearth, the heart of the home, is the perfect focal point of any country house. This year, I decked out the dining room mantel with freshly cut boughs of hemlock and white pine, loosely entwined with small white globe lights from…

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Seeing Stars

I love the fun you can have with dessert plates. Not just for presenting sweets, these little guys are the perfect size for serving up savory sandwiches or pre-dinner nibbles. The charming form of these star plates lend a happy vibe whether simply stacked on a buffet, or as a whimsical touch to a layered…

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Dana’s Rosemary Roasted Party Pecans

‘Tis the season for entertaining. Whether you’re going somewhere, or hosting, this wonderful recipe from my friend Dana Shwartz, featured in our Holiday 2014 issue – https://noramurphycountryhouse.com/magazine/holiday-2014/ – is absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this party favorite Dana! Love, Nora Dana’s Rosemary Roasted Party Pecans Ingredients: 2 cups whole pecans 2 tablespoons honey 1…

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The Relaxed Table

I love the relaxed attitude and generous size of these kitchen towels! I pulled together a collection of crisp, striped kitchen towels (from Homegoods) to substitute for the expected cloth napkin. If you can’t find as many of one kind as you need, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Something so simple really makes a…

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Act Now While Supplies Last!

Black Friday came and went as I stayed home, cozied up with family. I sailed through Small Business Saturday and survived Cyber Monday without a trace of a blister on my index finger. I’m keeping it real and I’m focusing on what truly matters to me during the magical month of December. For a limited…

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Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving dinner is always pretty amazing, but, I have to say, the leftovers from the feast are just as highly anticipated. The same goes for recycling the floral elements from my holiday table. The post Thanksgiving centerpiece can be just as wonderful. This year it was dressed with creamy white pumpkins entwined with bittersweet and…

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Getting ready and giving thanks

The table’s all set, the turkey’s in the oven, and it’s time to get busy on all the fixin’s! I just love this day. Wishing you and yours a wonderfully relaxing (or spirited!) eat, drink, and be merry kind of day! Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Nora

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Hallelujah!

Our Holiday issue is here (Yay!!) — www.noramurphycountryhouse.com is the start of something wonderful! Holiday 2015 is a whole new look for us and a whole new experience for you. It’s our biggest issue ever, loaded with inspiration, tips, and more pages of the NMCH photography you’ve asked for – plus an absolutely fabulous new layout and,…

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‘Holiday’ is almost here!

Our newest and biggest Nora Murphy Country House issue is here tomorrow! This new Holiday issue is loaded with inspiration, tips, and pages of the NMCH photography you’ve told us you love– and our most exciting news yet: a whole new look for us, a whole new experience for you…now downloadable! Enjoy the snippets, and…

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Bittersweet

“Here and there one sees the blush of wild rose haws or the warmth of orange fruit on the bittersweet, and back in the woods is the occasional twinkle of partridge berries. But they are the gem stones, the rare decorations which make the grays, the browns and the greens seem more quiet, more completely…

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Aunt Mame’s Pineapple Lime Cranberry Sauce

While shooting at Trent DeBerry and Collin Robison’s beautiful home for the Autumn 2015 issue of Nora Murphy Country House, https://noramurphycountryhouse.com/magazine/autumn-2015/country-house-style/#.VkSqiaQzTtA, we got to talking about two of our shared loves; family and holiday traditions. Originally both from Texas, where Trent’s family can be traced back for many generations, food is a large part of…

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My Favorite Mash

I realize I’m scooping my weekly Foodie Friday, but with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I figured you wouldn’t mind if I sprinkled in a few of my faves – like Julia’s Mashed Potatoes. I think that you’ll agree. Thanksgiving deserves the very best mashed potatoes – fluffy and buttery! The secret’s in using russet…

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Paris, je t’aime

“Paris is the city in which one loves to live. Sometimes I think this is because it is the only city in the world where you can step out of a railway station—the Gare D’Orsay—and see, simultaneously, the chief enchantments: the Seine with its bridges and bookstalls, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuileries Gardens, the…

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Paperwhites For Christmas

Decorating for Christmas wouldn’t be the same at Connecticut Country House without containers full of fragrant, blooming paperwhites. It takes about 4 to 5 weeks for these papery beauties to flower, so now’s the time to start potting them up. It’s easy. Choose a container – I love to set them into an assortment of…

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